The Henry Ford Multicultural Dermatology Clinic offers specialized treatment for women and men who develop hair loss (called alopecia). The three types of hair loss common in people with tightly coiled hair, most often women, are central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia (CCCA), traction alopecia, and androgenic alopecia. In CCCA and traction alopecia, the hair follicles become damaged or are destroyed and scar tissue forms, preventing re-growth of hair. Androgenic alopecia is a hereditary condition in which the hair follicles are not damaged.
Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia
CCCA occurs in women of all ages. It often begins at the crown or central scalp. Damage to the hair follicles causes CCCA and may occur from hair chemical relaxing; tight rollers or curlers that pull the hair, damaging follicles; and braids with extensions or weaves, which pull the hair and damage follicles.
Treatment options for CCCA include oral or topical antibiotics as well as topical cortisone to decrease inflammation in the hair follicles and improve scalp health. Other medications may be used to stimulate hair growth. Early diagnosis and treatment will improve the likelihood of hair re-growth.
Traction alopecia results from pulling the hair to creates hairstyles like braids and weaves. Weight from hair extensions and ponytails, and pulling from hair rollers or curlers also contributes. Continuous pulling of the hair can lead to destruction of the follicle and permanent hair loss. The scalp may be sore, hair can break, and the hair follicle becomes inflamed and damaged. Thin or bald spots can develop along the hairline and above the ears, and small bumps (folliculitis) sometimes appear.
If discovered early, hair can grow back. Hairstyles should be adjusted to reduce pulling. Oral or topical antibiotics and topical cortisone may help decrease inflammation in the hair follicles and improve scalp health. Other medications can be used to stimulate hair growth. Severe damage and scarring sometimes means hair will not re-grow, and hair transplantation is an option.
This hereditary form of hair loss causes hair to thin in the center of the scalp, often extending toward the hairline. Because the hair follicles are not damaged in this form of hair loss, medications can be used to help promote hair growth.